The International Magnesium Association (IMA) awarded innovative designers and engineers in the 2013 Awards of Excellence competition. The awards were announced at the IMA’s 70th Annual World Magnesium Conference held in Xi’an, China in late May. The Awards of Excellence competition was open to all companies demonstrating outstanding examples of magnesium’s use as well as magnesium products and manufacturing technologies in three categories: Design, Process and Application.
The Design Class encompassed three categories for 2013: Cast Product Commercial, Cast Product Automotive and Wrought Product. The design category recognizes unique, novel, and creative design and development of magnesium and applications and exhibits a significant advancement over current practices.
First Place for Design Cast Product Commercial Category was awarded to Fujifilm Sonosite Inc. located in Bothell, Washington for their “M2” UltraSound System. The Die Caster determined that die cast magnesium would provide the required properties for the enclosure being sought. Using flow simulation software and experience, the die caster provided feedback for design for manufacturing, which included having thin wall castings to minimize product weight, determining the appropriate gating for each casting and developing a cross hatched, rib-like pattern to aid in metal flow across the surface of the large casting. Fujifilm Sonosite Inc. was nominated for this award by Twin City Die Castings Company located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
For the Cast Product Automotive Category, the First Place Award was presented to Georg Fischer GmbH & Company, KG, located in Altenmarkt, Austria for their Convertible Roof Top Casting. The product served as the main part of the convertible roof and used the alloy AM50 HP. One of the judge’s commented, “The net shape to eliminate machining is fantastic.”
In the Design Category for Wrought Product, the First Place winner was Nippon Kinzoku Company, Ltd. located in Tokyo, Japan. They created the world’s first practical use and mass production technology of LZ91 Alloy. Also taking part in helping produce this design was: NEC Personal Computers, Ltd, Amli Material Technology Company, Ltd., Professor Jian-Yih Wang of National Dong Hwa University, Fuji Light Metal Company, Ltd., and Kasatani Corporation. It is recognized for its weight saving and thinness. Rolled thin sheet of LZ91 alloy for stamping was used for the housing of the NEC Ultrabook computer.
The Process Category recognizes innovation in manufacturing or processing technology leading to higher quality and reduced costs. First Place in the Process Category was awarded to Jiangsu RM Wheel Company, Ltd., located in Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China for their Superplastic Monoblock Forged Molding Magnesium Wheel Technology. By applying magnesium in wheel production they reduced the car weight and allowed for energy savings and emission reductions, using Magnesium Alloy AZ80.
The Application Category recognizes significant advances resulting in a large volume potential for magnesium. In some cases, the products, processes, and technology must be in commercial practice and be successful. First Place for Application was awarded to Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center, in cooperation with General Motors Corporation located in Warren, Michigan for their industry-first application of magnesium sheet in a structural and functional application of a Magnesium Intensive Decklid. The Decklid has been applied commercially on Cadillac automobiles. The application was enabled by three critical innovations, all covered by issued or filed patents: Hot Blow Forming, Preheating Schedule and Edge Preparation.